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When your neighbor and enemy chum up...

Armenian-Iranian economic partnership: reality or myth

No sooner had Azerbaijan got out of the tension after notorious tittle-tattle in Turkish circles on the probability of opening borders with Armenia, one more neighbor moved to kiss on the lips of the aggressor country.

The question is Armenian leader Serzh Sargsyan’s official visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

During the visit from April 13-14, the two Presidents expressed satisfaction with the current level of political dialogue and their willingness to further expand intergovernmental relations.

At a meeting with Iranian counterpart, Serzh Sargsyan didn’t seem to conceal his country’s emergency need for relations with Iran.

In this regard, he thanked Iranian President for allowing essential goods through Iran during economically hard times - in the early years of independence and during hostilities between Russia and Georgia in August.

The parties also focused on major infrastructure programs as the best indication of the further expansion of the Armenian-Iranian relations….

Under memorandums and documents signed, Export Development Bank of Iran would open a credit line to Armenia, the parties agreed to build a hydropower plant on the Araz River, lay a railroad between the two countries, deliver Iranian gas to Armenia and study the prospects of re-exporting to Europe, create Iran-Armenia-Georgia-Black Sea Highway….

The bilateral documents appeared to be part of strengthening Iran-Armenia-Russia triangle economically and politically against the backdrop of well-cemented strategic partnership among Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan in the region.

In favor of the formation of Iran-Russian-Armenian alliance, this is a call for Iran to sit as an observer in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Another point is that Armenia will get Iranian gasoline and diesel fuel refined in Tabriz, an Azeri-populated city.



In fact, the expensive joint projects, including a rail link may come online in 3-4 years.
The railway line is believed to allow Armenia to reach the outside world without Georgia let alone transportation and cargo shipment. Armenia and Iran are lucky this time because this project also interests Russia.

With Russia uninvolved, it is obvious that progress in any sphere of economic cooperation between Armenia and Iran will willy-nilly “hang in the air”.

APA-ECONOMICS

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